First Kindle Scout winners announced
I’ve written previously about Kindle Scout, Amazon’s crowd sourced publishing platform.
Well, it isn’t exactly that: readers to nominate books to be published (after reading free excerpts), but Amazon doesn’t have to just publish the ones with the most votes. The e-tailer has the final word.
Still, I have to say that for myself, I didn’t get much into it. I looked at it a bit, but I have so much to read that reading just part of a book didn’t see like a good use of my time…especially if I might never get to read the rest of it.
I think this is a very good opportunity for authors, though. The terms seem quite good, and you do end up with an advance and you are traditionally published.
For Amazon, it’s yet another way to become more independent of traditional structures. Amazon does do successful traditional publishing (hampered by some retailers’ decision not to carry Amazon-published p-books ((paperbooks))), but this increases it.
If you nominated a book, and it got picked, you’ll get it for free.
I see I didn’t end up having nominated anything, so I don’t get a free one out of this. That’s okay, I didn’t really play the game, so I don’t really deserve a trophy. 😉
The first ten winners are listed here:
None of them are available, even for pre-order, yet, but it shouldn’t take too long. The books had to be completed before they could be submitted.
Here’s a list:
- G-1 by Maggie Toussaint (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) writing as Rigel Carson: science fiction
- Royal Date by Sariah S. Wilson (at AmazonSmile*): romance
- eDream by James Duffy (at AmazonSmile*): science fiction/thriller
- Running from the Past by Alan Orloff (at AmazonSmile*): crime fiction
- L.A. Sniper (a Kane novel) by Steve Gannon (at AmazonSmile*): crime fiction
- The Forest of Forever by Rob Blackwell (at AmazonSmile*): urban fantasy
- Idempotency by Joshua Wright (at AmazonSmile*): science fiction
- Eddie & Sunny by Stacey Cochran (at AmazonSmile*): romance/suspense
- Housebroken by The Behrg (at AmazonSmile*): crime fiction
- Pit Bulls vs Aliens by Neal Wooten (at AmazonSmile*): science fiction
Congratulations to the winners!
Now, how do these selections match the idealized concept of whta you might want this program to be?
At this point, I’d say pretty well. 😉
Looking at their Amazon Author Central pages (and they all have them), they are all people who have published something before, but there were none I would consider to be frontlist. At least one had been published by Bantam (a division of Penguin Random House, which I think is a good thing. I’d like this program to work both for people who have only been indies (independently publishing their own works) and those who have been traditionally published, but may feel…underserved by that structure.
A couple of them excitedly commented on their selection on their pages.
I would say there are two things which time will tell.
First, how good are the books and how well do they do. For the program to succeed, the books also have to succeed. They aren’t even published yet (they are in the works), but it will be interesting to see where they rank. As too many movie studios know, social media interest is not always a predictor of box office success, and it’s possible the same is true here…that the people who participate in Kindle Scout may not be the same people who buy books at such a rate as to make them bestsellers.
However, I’m also guessing they’ll be in Kindle Unlimited (you can read books by some of the authors in this group now through KU). That could up the attractiveness of KU, but I’m not sure how it affects sales status (I don’t know how borrows are calculated in terms of sales).
The other thing is how the authors feel about the program. That will impact the involvement of other authors in it. I’m hoping we eventually see brand names authors involved, but that’s not likely unless the authors currently involved feel they are well treated.
We’ll get some sense of that in the first year or so, but it might take three or more before we get a good assessment.
Still, it’s exciting to me to see Amazon trying this and engaging customers and authors in this way.
What do you think? Did you participate in Kindle Scout? Did any of your nominees get picked? What do you think of the selections? If you are an author who submitted to Kindle Scout, what was your experience like (whether or not you were selected)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.